Updated: Apr 7
Holy Covid! I don’t know about you but over the last several weeks (if not months) I've heard about so many relationship challenges ~ couples together 24/7 trying to make it work, family members with different beliefs around Covid restrictions, missed holidays & generalized anxiety have been getting to a lot of us. People are tired, frustrated, & with that it's easy to end up in an argument or tense dynamic.
You are not alone. I promise.
Some good news? Overcoming challenges is like pouring concrete into the foundation of a relationship. When you cultivate mutual understanding, respect, forgiveness, & love in these times you are building stronger more powerful connections. It's not always fun, nor easy, but it's totally worth it.
Let's be real, we could all use joy & compassion these days. So, why not clear the air & get little more breathing room? This isn’t about fixing every little blip in your life ~ but if you've been fixated on a conversation & replaying it in your mind ~ addressing it in a healthy way will, at the very least, bring you some peace.
The Bump in the Road
We all know the feeling. We're out with a friend or at a family gathering & someone says something that shoots us straight into anxiety, frustration, or just plain hurt. Or, perhaps you find yourself walking on eggshells & making choices to passively or actively get away from someone in your life.
Of course, you don't need to please or be friends with everyone. But... if a relationship matters to you or the person matters to you, then wouldn't it be better for everyone to resolve the conflict sooner then later? The hardest part is often getting over ourself, our pride, or our hurt.
These 8 tips will help you steady in yourself so you can clear the air with care & respect (for both yourself & others).
1) Get into a Healthy Head Space
When the hamster wheel in our head starts spinning it can be hard to stop. You get fixated, replay the conversation, feel sick to your stomach, & focus either on anger, hurt, or guilt. Before any resolution can be found you'll need to get your head back into a more resourceful state.
Step Back: A fixated mind is not going to solve the problem. Give yourself some space from the situation & focus on something else.
Get Connected: Do something that brings you a sense of joy & gratitude. Watch a funny movie, get out in nature, dance it out, or hug a tree... whatever works for you. When you do something that feels good (brings joy, gratitude, connection) your brain & nervous system shift. You become better able to handle stress, employ processing, & meet your challenges from a clear state instead of from survival mode.
2) Benefit of the Doubt
Do you care about this person? Does this relationship matter to you? Do you matter to you?
If you answer yes to these questions then it’s important to give all parties the benefit of your doubt (& yes I’m including you). We all make mistakes, sometimes it’s out of ignorance & other times because we are triggered. By giving someone the benefit of the doubt you are basically freeing up your mind to see the bigger picture, to learn, to understand. By giving yourself the benefit of the doubt you are telling yourself - maybe I made a mistake but I believe in myself to learn & grow.
3) Get Clear with You
What is the specific thing that you are concerned about? If someone said something that upset you what were the specifics around it, the words, tone, etc? How did you interpret this, what emotions are present & what do you think it means?
When you ask yourself these questions you begin to take ownership of your feelings & interpretations. Remember interpretations of another's motives or character are interpretations. They may or may not be accurate. When yo